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Boucher hattrick leads Rangers over 67's

Matt Albiani escapes from behind the net as Tyson Kellerman awaits a chance in front of the net.


Not unlike Plymouth Whalers netminder: Paul Drew, Lukas Mensator simply got shelled in his return to the Memorial Auditorium.  Mensator lasted only one period, allowing 4 goals to the Rangers on only 12 first period shots, as the 67's appeared to have struggled with bus legs early after being tramped on the 401 between Mississauga and Kitchener for three hours arriving in Kitchener late for warm ups.  Brian Kilrea who was honored prior to the game for his induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame wasn't slow to replace his starting netminder with rookie: Danny Battochio.  Things looked as if they might be as tightly played as the Rangers and Sting game from a week earlier to start the game, however things quickly went down hill for the young 67's, who were hurt even more than the Rangers by graduation at years' end.  The Rangers reeled off 4 goals in 4 minutes and 22 seconds.  Paul McFarland was prone to giving and taking away during the first period.  He scored what was only his first goal of his season taking a nice feed from Craig Voakes before dipping around Mensator and depositing the puck into an empty net.  Next shift with the Rangers in the drivers' seat up 3-0, McFarland inadvertantly deflected the puck into his own goal while killing a Rangers' penalty.

The Ottawa 67's had the break that they needed, however were not able to capitlize on it, as Peter Franchin got a lucky bounce off of the boards of his own and like McFarland was able to convert on his 2nd goal of his still young rookie season.  After opening the game with a powerplay goal, chipping another puck past Mensator later on in the first period giving the Rangers a commanding 3-0 lead.  Jesse Boucher was at work during the early second period completing his first OHL hat trick.  Another goal from the trenches for Boucher, his 8th of his season.  The 67's would attempt to work away and errode the Rangers' lead from that point on.  Elmira native Rodney Bauman picked up a Tyson Kellerman rebound, he was left alone infront of the Rangers' net on the powerplay and made no mistake in beating the tall Rangers' netmidner.

Tyson Kellerman makes the save, and the Rangers' defense prevents the 67's forwards from getting a rebound.

During the third period the 67's made things scary for the Rangers with Matt Lashoff already going off for hooking, David Clarkson took a very ill-advised roughing penalty.  The call, that put the Rangers down two men for an entire two minutes was completely justified and it also turned out to potentially be very costly for the Rangers who led by 3 (5-2) at that point of the game.  Matt Albiani scored only 15 seconds into the first penalty, however the Rangers would shut the 67's down for the remainder of the penalty as well as the game.  An empty Ottawa net for the final minute of regulation time would not result in scoring for either team.  After Clarkson's undisciplined penalty he was benched for the remainder of the game.  Craig Voakes who has improved in each game as a Ranger, replaced Evan McGrath on the Rangers second line during the third period and McGrath took his spot on the third line between Keefe and McFarland.

Despite a pair of very strong starts against the London Knights and Guelph Storm for Carlo DiRienzo, coach Peter DeBoer elected to go with Tyson Kellerman against the 67's.  Kellerman was solid, but not spectacular, he didn't have much of a chance on any of the three goals against him all of which were on the man advantage for the 67's.  The Rangers again dressed 7 defenders however, Chris Gravelding saw very limited playing time.  The Rangers are 5-0-1 in their last six games for an undefeated run of 6 games.  After falling under .500 on home ice for the first time in three seasons with a 3-4 record the Rangers have put together 5 consecutive victories on home ice.  Overall the Rangers were 1 for 4 on the powerplay, the 67's 3 for 8.